Australian Government Wants To Regulate Yelp, TripAdvisor Reviews

When something goes wrong in Australian consumer land, the government dispatches its bulldog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to get some sweet justice. The ACCC now wants to take on so-called review trolls who take to sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor and post fake, hurtful reviews.

Review trolls basically describes anyone who hits a review site with an axe to grind and leaves fake, hurtful and potentially defamatory opinions about a business to dissuade others from eating there in future.

With so many new apps like Google, Apple Maps and Bing Search all linking to these review sites, it's important for business owners to make a good impression online.

Review platforms are now in the crosshairs of the ACCC, with the organisation saying that fake reviews mislead consumers and hurt businesses. But it isn't just douchebags in the sights: fake and paid reviews designed to inflate businesses online will also be targeted.

The ACCC has, as a result, released guidelines for how such sites should behave when it comes to reviews, and has made "monitoring the sector" a "priority", according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The problem with regulating online reviews, is that when someone decides to come and spew venom in a one-star review, how are you going to figure out if they're legitimate or just have an axe to grind?

Read more here.